Fiscal antidote right for WA economy

Chris Rodwell

CCIWA Chief Executive Officer

12 March 2020 

With our economy being buffeted by troubled and uncertain conditions, the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package provides an important lifeline in the form of a targeted stimulus package that protects cash flows for vulnerable businesses and keeps Australians in jobs. 

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) particularly welcomes measures that help to bring forward investment. These measures not only support the economy during this difficult period, but also help to address the lack of business investment which has plagued the Australian and Western Australian economies. 

Targeted cash flow support for small and medium businesses — worth up to $25,000 per business — will help businesses to pay wages, put on extra staff, invest or prepare for a downturn. Small and medium enterprises make up over 95 per cent of WA businesses. 

When the economy is weak and the outlook is uncertain, it is harder for businesses to keep apprentices in work. Subsidies covering up to 50 per cent of apprentices’ wages will assist small businesses to retain over 8,000 apprentices and trainees in WA. This also ensures businesses have access to vital skills as the economy recovers. 

CCIWA also welcomes the Government’s commitment to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains. This complements the diversification work that CCIWA is already doing with our members. 

We welcome clear signs of the Federal Government listening to the business community and appreciates the level of co-operation in framing its response. The best way to stimulate the economy is always to remove constraints on business growth and investment, which supports household incomes and better enables the retention of workers. Temporary measures to support jobs and businesses are the right approach.

CCIWA will continue to work closely with the State Government to inform the best response, particularly in light of the Federal Government’s approach announced today. 

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